Confirmation today of AC/DC coming to both Wellington and Auckland illustrates the money that is involved in these things, and blows a few myths out of the water.
“The top-selling Australian rock band, which has sold more than 200 million albums, will play Westpac Stadium on January 30 and Auckland on February 6.”
Right bang smack in the middle of the Southern Hemisphere concert schedule. But the next paragraph was the most interesting, telling and pertinent to Dunedin and our stunning new stadium.
“Wellington City Council events manager John Dawson said because of AC/DC’s wide appeal the band had the potential to sell more than 35,000 tickets. Based on concerts at the stadium, including The Rolling Stones in 2006, up to 50 per cent of ticket buyers would be from outside the region. A Saturday concert meant many fans would stay the weekend. Overall, it could contribute about $10 million to the capital’s economy.
Mr Dawson said the estimate was based on analysis of the Neil Diamond concert in 2005, which sold 32,000 tickets and injected about $8 million into the city.”
The most important things we can take from this is the fact that they are looking for up to 50% of the tickets coming from outside the region – that’s right 50%. We’ve been told time and time again by some that Dunedin is too small and that people don’t travel to concerts, this shows us that this simply isn’t the case. When we have the likes of these sorts of concerts we are looking for only 15,000 to come from the city of the immediate region. In the light of the All Blacks – France test selling about 20,000 tickets to the locals only, this doesn’t seem insurmountable (even more so when we are told that Rugby is in crisis and that people aren’t going any more).
But as I have stated time and time again in this forum, the appeal of a top act will see people come from all around the country. Also if we time these concerts right, they will be attractive to the tens of thousands of people on holiday in the South – if you are like me and have lived in Wgtn for a decent length of time, you will appreciate what a relative Ghost Town it is in Jan. But then so is Dunedin, so it has to be around the time when tourists are still on the go and the 22,000 students are back in town, well that’s not hard a couple of weeks later in middle Feb.
Then there is the seemingly other insurmountable issues of transport to the city. Not sure if you’ve lived in Wgtn, it’s a shocker of a place to get to, a 3.5hr ferry ride after a 4hr drive from CHCH, an 8hr drive from Auck (pushing it) or flights only. As I would imagine the majority of these people would actually be flying into the city, then as we all know Dunedin is perfectly situated to meet these needs. Further if we are to capture the tourists (yes tourists do go to concerts internal and foreign) then rather than a flight or an 8hr drive from Auk, it’s a leisurely couple of hr drive from Central Otago to here.
Other possibilities, and I know how the nay-sayers don’t like talking about possibilities, how about selling these things as packages. We all know there is a train that goes right past the stadium, and that we have one heck of a world class Taieri Train, how about selling a travel – stay – concert package to train in from Central to Dunedin, likewise from CHCH or even as far as Picton.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have some of that $8-$10 million dollars injected into the economy too!
It’s simply a matter of getting the right acts to come to the south (we know they already relax and holiday in the luxury resorts of Central Otago sometimes), at the right time and these concerts in Wgtn show people will come, and from far a field.